Really, I don't have a whole lot so say about this one, other than that Judy Blume is a genius. As someone who had a particularly miserable fifth-grade experience, I feel that I'm especially qualified to say: Blubber came out in 1974 and it still rings true today. There were parts of the story that made me shudder. (If that doesn't do it for you, the entire book is worth reading for the character of Ms. Rothbelle, the music teacher. She's only around for a few pages, but she's perfect.)
I recently reread this too, and I was struck by how perfectly Judy Blume stays away from moralizing; Blubber is like a moderately-less-bleak version of The Chocolate War. Now, I dislike TCW intensely, but I think Blubber is genius because itw's not dark simply for the sake of darkness but in the service of a realistic story that kids can recognize and deconstruct on their own.
Blubber is a young adult novel by Judy Blume first published in 1974. The protagonist is Jill Brenner, a Pennsylvania fifth-grader who joins her classmates in ostracizing and bullying Linda, an awkward and overweight girl. Linda gives an oral class report about whales and is hence nicknamed Blubber by her peers.
According to Judy Blume in a short essay published in a recent reprint of the novel, the plot of Blubber was inspired by a very similar real-life incident involving her daughter's 5th grade class, in which one girl was singled out for torment by the class leader, who led her classmates in bullying her. My daughter was the shy, quiet girl in the class, the observer, like Rochelle, Blume wrote. She was upset by what was going on, but she didn't know what to do about it. She was scared. Like many other kids in that class, she worried she could wind up the next victim of the bullying. Blume also explained that she wrote Blubber to encourage children who see bullying taking place, as well as the bullies' victims themselves, to tell someone they trust rather than keep it to themselves.